Showing posts from October 25, 2015

Retro Robot Love

Halloween means costume making and now I have 2 kids that naturally extends to them. Eli wanted to be a scary robot, I ended up settling for Retro robot because we have cardboard boxes and vinyl pipes floating around the house. Topped off with egg boxes, bottle caps and yoghurt pots, I wouldn't say this build was challenging, time consuming or detailed but I think that's the main selling point. Eli was dead keen to help at all stages and there was an awful lot of love for it once we were out and wandering around the streets.

Laser cut Pumpkins

but probably not enough to satisfy  @MarkPhelan , Just a quick Halloween silhouette to decorated the garage doors. A long chain of neopixels provides some changing colour back lights.

Continuous Autofocus Laser Cutter Hack

We were inspired by the Glowforge laser cutters ability to continuously autofocus it's z axis. A camera mounted in the head of the laser detects a laser dot being shone onto the surface of the material and from there it can determine how far the lens needs to be adjusted to set the focal height for the correct cutting distance. The Nintendo Wii Remote has an optical camera in it that is used to detect up to four points of infrared light. The hardware automatically identifies these points and feeds back XY positions through a bluetooth connection. The cutting laser on a laser cutter is an infrared beam, as it cuts through the surface of the material there is a moment where it is reflected off the material and the Wiimote is able to detect the location of the cut. The location data is fed back to a laptop and by comparing this point against the initial 'in focus' point we're able to detect if the Z axis needs to move up or down and by how much. The laptop sends dat